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Opening day at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs offers something for everyone

By:
  • Joel Rodgers

Live thoroughbred racing gets underway this Saturday (May 5th) at Harrah’s Lousiana Downs.

Opening day also features the simulcast of the 144th Kentucky Derby.

Opening day will feature plenty of action for racing fans and an entertaining day for families as well. Beginning at 11:00 am along the track apron, there will e a children’s area with free bounce houses, water slides, face painting and culinary delights from the most popular food trucks in Shreveport-Bossier area.

Harrah’s Louisiana Downs Track announcer, John McGary shares his Kentucky Derby pick with Real Shreveport on Wednesday morning and can be seen and heard in the video attached.

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major stakes programs, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday May 5, August 4 and Super Derby Day on Sunday, September 2.

“We look forward to welcoming racing fans to Louisiana Downs on Saturday,” said Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant manager. “Opening day is always very exciting with live racing, the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby, and festival atmosphere suited for fans of all ages. The interest from horsemen has been very strong  and our goal is to offer quality racing to our horseplayers throughout the 2018 Thoroughbred meet.”

Track History: Louisiana Downs, located on 350 acres near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana opened on October 30, 1974 with approximately 15,000 fans in attendance for the first day of its inaugural meet. Built by the late shopping-center magnate, Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr., the track was a success from the start, setting numerous national records for handle and attendance throughout the 1970’s and ’80’s.In 1980, plans were announced for the first running of the Super Derby, a 1-1/4 mile race to be run in the fall with the hope of attracting the best three-year-olds in the country and to have an impact on the end-of-the year championships. With a $500,000 purse, the race was the richest ever for three-year-old Thoroughbreds. On October 18, 1980, Belmont Stakes winner Temperence Hill won the inaugural Super Derby and became only the third Thoroughbred in history to earn more than $1 million. In its 24 runnings, the Super Derby has attracted four Kentucky Derby winners, four Preakness Stakes winners, five Belmont Stakes winners and seven Travers Stakes winners. Six previous Super Derby entrants have won the prestigious Breeders’ Cup Classic and three Super Derby winners, Tiznow, Sunday Silence and Alysheba have been voted the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year, the industry’s highest award. The race has rightfully taken its place nationally as one of the most anticipated of the year.Purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002, the track continues its commitment to presenting the highest quality and most exciting Thoroughbred racing each and every day of the season while attracting some of the country’s top trainers and horses year after year. Every winter, Louisiana Downs hosts a quarter horse meet, showcasing the fastest breed of horses on the planet.

 

 

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Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at jrodgers@realshreveport.com

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